‘I was offered 500,000 pesetas to take out Ronaldinho’ – Caceres


Former Celta defender Fernando Caceres has revealed that he was once offered 500,000 pesetas to take Barcelona star Ronaldinho out of a game.

Caceres featured for the likes of River Plate, Boca Juniors and Valencia during a storied career that saw him feature 24 times for Argentina, scoring one goal.

He has recounted one of the more memorable matches of his career, when he crossed paths with Barcelona ace Ronaldinho.

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“We were playing Celta vs Barcelona in Vigo and on the first touch Ronaldinho tried to make, I hit him from behind,” Caceres explained in an interview with the ‘Idolos’ YouTube channel.

“I helped him up and told him I'd been offered 500,000 pesetas (£2,700/$3,400) to take him out. He just looked at me and said: ‘If you can catch me.’

“I didn't go to mark him anymore. I was scared, he was angry and when he got like that, he was very good; a strong and impressive player.”

He retired before he had the chance to face another Barca great in the form of Lionel Messi – but he has explained that facing his compatriot would have been a formidable challenge.

“Luckily, I never faced Messi, but I would have found it challenging to deal with the things he can do with the ball,” he said.

“You see them and you can't believe it. When Leo runs at you, what do you do? You don't know, so you have to just kick him - it's the only solution you have.”

Caceres, however, was a team-mate of Diego Maradona during the 1994 World Cup – a tournament in which the attacker made the headlines as he tested positive for a banned substance.

The former centre-back refused to pick who was greater between Messi and Maradona, while he revealed what the latter said to the squad after his failed drugs test.

“It's very difficult to choose between one of the other, the times are different and the football is too,” he said of comparisons between the players before recounting his memory of Maradona at the U.S. tournament, where the Argentines crashed out in the last 16. 

“Diego spoke to all of us and told us that he hadn't done the things they said, then in the press they only spoke of Diego's positive doping test. That caused us a major distraction.

“We then had to play Romania whilst distracted and it took us out of the World Cup.”

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